Plantago altissima L. - Narrowleaf plantain
This species occurs in the south-east of Europe till Pannonia and in Italy it reaches the western limit. It differs from the common P. laceolata for its almost horizontal rhizome, with relatively big secondary roots, for its basal glossy hairless serrate leaves - 40-45 cm long - and for its grooved flowering scape - 1 m high - with a big cylindrical spike - 6 cm long.
It is present in the wet lowlands, above all on mineral but also peaty substrata, which are dry in summer, and on coastal brackish lowlands. It shares its habitat with Allium suaveolens in the retro dune Molinia areas and in the mesophyll Molinia caerulea areas. In Italy, it is especially present along the Adriatic coast and sometimes on the plain of the Po. Like many other hygrophilous species typical of the lowland habitat, this species has lost many of its sites because of the biotope destruction and it is therefore included in the Red Data Book of the plants in Italy.
In the Resurgence area of Friuli, the species is relatively still present and it characterizes the Plantagini altissimae-Molinietum caeruleae oligotrophic soils, together with the Molinia caerula, when the ground is not flooded for long periods.
G. Bolognini ©